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Return to work

When is a temporary layoff – not a temporary layoff

Employers will often seek to respond to downturns in their business by temporarily reducing head count, with the hope of having those employees return to work when the business improves. This is often referred to as a temporary lay off. Many employers inquire as to their right to temporarily lay off employees, generally in response to financial constraints of the business.

 

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Two kicks at the can: Worker allowed to re-litigate WSIB accommodation dispute at the Human Rights Tribunal

Most employers are likely familiar with the WSIB return to work process which often involves a WSIB employee attending at the workplace for the purpose of identifying suitable and sustainable work for the injured worker. In circumstances where there is a dispute about whether a position is suitable and/or available, the WSIB will examine the circumstances and make a written decision. The worker and the employer have the right to appeal an adverse decision initially to the WSIB Appeals Branch and ultimately to the independent Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.

 

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Return to work and the duty to accommodate in non-WSIB cases

So your employee is off work again for the third time this year, you have no idea when they are coming back and their physician’s note is a vague cipher. It is not a work injury, so you know you don’t have to worry about WSIB, but it is a staffing issue for your organization and a serious concern. What should you do?

 

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Solid evidentiary burden to prove constructive dismissal due to poisoned work environment

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In a recent decision, General Motors of Canada Limited v. Johnson, the Ontario Court of Appeal provided clarity on an employee’s burden of proof when alleging constructive dismissal based on a poisoned work environment.

 

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Employer’s random alcohol testing policy constitutes unreasonable invasion of employees’ rights to privacy

Rule of law

An employee’s right to ensure workplace safety versus an employee’s right to privacy – these competing rights have been present in the workplace for many years. On one hand, employers must be able to adopt policies to protect their workforce and abide by statutory health and safety obligations. On the other hand, employees expect that they will not be subject to intrusive policies that unreasonably infringe on their privacy expectations.

 

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Learn the latest! — Human Rights Tribunal finds discrimination in request for medical information

In Thompson v. 1552754 Ontario Inc., the applicant was employed as a counter person at the respondent’s coffee shop. The applicant alleged discrimination based on disability when her employer refused to allow her to return to work after a three day absence. The employer would not allow the applicant to return to work without providing it with specific medical clearance that she had returned to her “prior state” of health.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with differential treatment in the workplace, how an employee’s dishonesty and breach of confidentiality during a workplace investigation led to termination for cause and how a settlement was easily characterized as a retiring allowance.

 

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Hollywood health and safety horrors

Think workplace safety concerns only impact employees in traditional industries? Think again. Even well-known Hollywood stars can be impacted by a lack of due diligence in their workplaces. Here are some of the celebrities who have been involved in a serious workplace accident.

 

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Employer failed in duty to accommodate by not considering employment beyond pre-injury position

In the recent decision Fair and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal provides a useful guide for employers to follow in determining how to return an employee to the workplace after an extended absence.

 

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Returning from parental leave and accommodating family status

After 20 weeks of parental leave, I’m back in front of my computer, checking my email, catching up on workplace changes, putting together a schedule and generally getting back into the swing of things. Per the law, my employer has reinstated me to the same position I left (at the same wage), although with some accommodation to ease my transition, and I will no doubt be expected to perform up to my previous standard. I know I’ll need the help!

 

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What do you do when your employees won’t come to work?

In recent years, employers seem to be struggling with “missing employees” that provide vague doctors’ notes and then disappear, assuming their job is safe. What can employers do? Do you have the right to ask for medical information? Can they dismiss the employee if they don’t provide proper justification for their absence?

 

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Have you heard? Our annual Employment Law Conference is next week

You’ve probably already heard about the Ontario Employment Law Conference coming up on June 13—that’s next Wednesday!—but have you registered yet?

 

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WSIB introduces safe communities incentive program

Do you, like 98 percent of Ontario businesses, employ 100 or fewer employees? Then you should try SCIP-ing into spring with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Safe Communities Incentive Program.

 

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Most viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

  Workplace bully’s tirade amounts to constructive dismissal When a general manager at a health club felt repeatedly harassed by one of the owners, he claimed the company constructively dismissed him… (In PDF) MOL releases OHSA reprisal guidance for workers and employers The Ontario Ministry of Labour has released a guide for workers and employers […]

 

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Human Rights Tribunal barred from hearing application: no forum-shopping allowed

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal recently examined an application before it and an earlier statement of claim made in court by the same person, and concluded that the claims were virtually identical. They were based on the same facts, made the same allegations and sought similar remedies…

 

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